The Chancellor is expected to announce a new, £130 million fund to help thousands of small and medium sized enterprises in Wales at this week’s budget – building on the Government’s commitment to level up opportunities across the UK.
The fund will be delivered through the British Business Bank, working closely with local partners, and will help Welsh SMEs to invest and grow. It will build on the success of existing funds in other parts of the UK, which have been shown to support the creation of high-paying high productivity jobs and the upskilling of existing workforces.
Similar existing funds in England and Northern Ireland typically provide loans or invest in local companies – this can be recent start-ups looking to borrow smaller amounts to kickstart activity or established SMEs looking for larger investments to grow their business. Details on how businesses in Wales can access the fund will be outlined in due course.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said:
“Business over Wales have delivered for communities in incredibly difficult circumstances over the pandemic. As we look to the future we’re continuing to back small businesses in Wales to help them grow and succeed.”
Since the start of the pandemic the UK Government has spent £352 billion right across the UK on support. In Wales this included protecting more than 460,000 jobs through the furlough scheme, £173 million in self-employment support, help for businesses and the procurement of vaccines.
In addition to the £130 million for Wales, Scotland will benefit from £150 million for a new fund and the British Business Bank will receive an additional £70 million to build on existing programmes in Northern Ireland.